K-State Today Student Edition
May 11, 2018
Outstanding academic and research work at the doctoral level earns three students Sarachek awards
By Communications and MarketingThree Kansas State University doctoral candidates have received Sarachek awards for their academic and research achievements.Pragyesh Dhungel, doctoral candidate in microbiology, Kathmandu, Nepal, was awarded the $17,000 Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship in Molecular Biology. Awarded the $2,000 Sarachek Scientific Travel Award were Ryan Greenway, doctoral candidate in biology, Amarillo, Texas, and Brintha Parasumanna Girinathan, doctoral candidate in genetics, Coimbatore, India.Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek, Wichita, established the fellowship and travel awards to recognize resident graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program at Kansas State University who have demonstrated exceptional research and scholastic accomplishments. An interdisciplinary faculty selection committee determines the fellowship and award recipients. The awards program is offered through the university’s Graduate School.
Dhungel received his bachelor’s degree from Kathmandu University in Nepal. He studies vaccinia virus, which is used as a live vaccine to eradicate smallpox. Vaccinia, a member of poxvirus family, is presently being engineered to treat various infectious diseases and multiple cancers, and is used as vaccines for diseases such as AIDS, Zika, Ebola, etc. While vaccinia is engineered for many purposes, there is a major gap in understanding the fundamental mechanism of vaccinia gene expression during host protein synthesis shutoff. This is the focus of Dhungel’s dissertation research. Zhilong Yang, professor of biology, is Dhungel’s major professor.Dhungel is seeking a postdoctoral position with the federal government or an academic institution. The Sarachek funding will support his travel to attend the XXII International Poxvirus, Asfarvirus and Iridovirus Conference, May 26-30, in Taipei, Taiwan, and relocation expenses when he begins his postdoc position. The remaining funds will be used to generate preliminary data for future grant applications. Dhungel plans to pursue an academic career in teaching and research.Greenway will use the funds to travel to …